Monday, March 28, 2005

Tea Break

I should be busy writing two books right now, but Charles Brownstein of the CBLDF has asked me to let the world know that people who bid on the CBLDF auction are now getting "Second chance bid" e-mails from someone named Needless to say, these are completely fraudulent, so I have cranked up the generator and am online for five minutes.

(Incidentally the actual Auction winner was Markus Gaelli , who will be using it to help promote Squeak -- go to to find out what that is. I'll tell you what the ship will actually be called when I surface.)

Also Michael Chabon just wrote to let me know that the First Amendment Project is financially out on the edge...

I'm on the board of the First Amendment Project
( It's a nonprofit advocacy organization
that among other functions provides legal counsel to writers, artists,
journalists and others facing prosecution on first amendment
grounds--an organization "dedicated to protecting and promoting
freedom of information, expression, and petition." Recently the
Project represented the teenager, George T., who was prosecuted AND
CONVICTED on criminal charges in California for writing violent poems.
The appeals court overturned the conviction.

The Project is also planning a campaign to combat and remedy the
shocking deficit of respect for and understanding of First Amendment
issues revealed by that recent Knight-Ridder poll of American young

They're also about to run out of money. They went broke defending a
San Diego environmental activist who was sued by a huge real estate
developer for petitioning to protect bald eagles. The plaintiffs
tried--and failed--to sue her under RICO (federal anti-racketeering!)

TFAP won the court battle but it was a classic Pyrrhic victory. One
more like that and they are lost.

They need money.

There is so much to care about and we face so many demands for our
time, attention, and money.I know.But the First Amendment... it all
starts there, doesn't it? It seems to me that there's really no point
to anything else without that basic guarantee.

If you could manage to contribute even just a little, it would make a
difference. I hope you will. And I'll hope you'll forgive this
importunate but timely plea.

You can make a donation just by clicking here or entering in your browser.



I've written to him with a suggestion for a way to take the "name a cruise ship" idea bigger and to get lots of authors playing with it at the same time.

Thanks to everyone who spotted typos in the Anansi draft and wrote to tell me about them.

Hugo nominations are up online -- congratulations to all nominated:

Many of you have written to tell me about this:

and I got a reminder of a good thing here:

All the struggling little indies out here would be pitifully grateful if, when you mention preordering at Amazon, you could give a nod to; their Store Locator identifies your nearest independents. Shopping with them, in turn, saves you shipping, boosts your karma and gives your an indefinable youthful glow. Many thanks -- Susan Ramsey, Athena Book Shop, Kalamazoo

Consider it mentioned with enthusiasm.

There's a webpage at that we really need to overhaul with links to all sorts of booksellers but which people may also find useful in its current form -- is the version of it for Anansi Boys.

And for those who want a little bit more of Anansi Boys than is up on -- you could always watch me in my sinister beard doing a reading last October at the National Book Festival. It's at -- and you'll need Realplayer to watch it. (The BBC's ad-and-suchware-free version of Realplayer is at

And for anyone who's made it this far down the post: Bob Morales feels this is the most inappropriate logo he's seen in a long time:
and Tom Spurgeon's 1000 Things To Like About Comics (in alphabetical order);

And Chicago tickets for the talk with me on April the 19th go on sale today.

Right. Tea break's over. Back on my head.